Learning Goals and Assessment

Graduate Program in Philosophy

MA in Philosophy (Legal Philosophy) Degree Learning Goals and Assessment

The goal of the master’s degree in philosophy is to train students at an advanced level in specific field of study of legal philosophy in order for them to assume leadership roles in research, teaching, applied work, or continue graduate studies.

Learning Goal 1: Attain mastery of a broad field of learning

Assessment of graduate student achievement of goal 1:

  • Grades in graduate courses
  • Review by faculty of student progress with close advising and mentoring
  • Comprehensive examinations assessing depth and breadth of knowledge in the form of a paper or research thesis
    • Assessment of student’s performance by committee of graduate faculty members
  • Continuation of graduate studies or placement in a position that requires ability in this field

Role of the Graduate Program in Philosophy in helping students to achieve goal 1:

  • Evaluate teaching effectiveness of instructors in graduate courses
    • If effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve effectiveness
  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools
    • By program faculty
    • Via curricular review by faculty department committees and graduate faculty
  • Host regular meetings with individual advisors

Learning Goal 2: Engage in and conduct original research (for master’s degrees with thesis options)

Assessment of graduate student achievement of goal 2: 

  • Assessment of quality of master’s thesis: 
    • Public defense of thesis 
    • Critical reading of thesis by committee of graduate faculty members 
    • Submission and acceptance of peer-reviewed articles and conference papers based on the thesis 
  • Achievement of students as evidenced by continuation of graduate studies or professional placement 

Role of the Graduate Program in Philosophy in helping students to achieve goal 2: 

  • Provide early introduction to research methods and opportunities for research 
  • Provide opportunities to present research and receive feedback 
  • Provide comprehensive advising and assist in the identification of mentors 
  • Establish standards for membership of student committees 

Learning Goal 3: Prepare to be professionals in the discipline 

Assessment of graduate student achievement of goal 3: 

  • Collection of data on professional placement or continuation of graduate studies 
  • Review by external advisory committees, both inside of and external to the academy 

Role of the Graduate Program in Philosophy in helping students achieve goal 3: 

  • Host professional development and career exploration activities 
  • Host external advisory committees 

Leaders of master’s degree in Philosophy should regularly review the structure and content of the program and provide the feedback received from assessments and surveys. These reviews should be used to provide the best possible education to the students, one that meets current needs for professionals in the discipline of Philosophy

 

Ph.D. Degree Learning Goals and Assessment 

The doctoral program in Philosophy trains students at the highest level to assume leadership roles in research, teaching, and applied work in fields in Philosophy.

Learning Goal 1 for Students: Master the existing scholarship in the study of Philosophy with the goal of using this scholarship in the pursuit of their own research.

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 1:

  • Grades in graduate courses
  • Completion of proposal and dissertation defenses in order to assess depth and breadth of knowledge defined in Philosophy
  • Review by faculty of student progress with close advising and mentoring
  • Placement in positions and careers that require ability and scholarship in this field.

Roles of the Graduate Program in Philosophy in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

  • Close advising to assure that students are being prepared in a coherent and academically rigorous fashion
  • Effective monitoring of student progress by the faculty advisor, the dissertation committee, and the graduate program director, including an annual review of all students by the Graduate Faculty
  • Exit surveys completed by students upon graduation
  • Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of instructors in graduate courses
    • If effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve effectiveness
  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools
    • By program faculty
    • In consultation with the office of the dean of the graduate school and/or the unit dean

Learning Goal 2 for Students: Engage in and conduct original research

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:

  • Preparation and defense of Ph.D. dissertation proposal
  • Engage in and conduct original research, using methods appropriate to the research project
  • Assessment of quality of Ph.D. dissertation:
    • Public defense of dissertation
    • Critical reading of dissertation by committee of graduate faculty members and a committee member from outside of the graduate program
  • Achievement of students as evidenced by professional placement, selection for conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and individual grant attainment.

Roles of the Graduate Program in Philosophy in helping students to achieve Goal 2: 

  • Provide early introduction and training in research methods, design of grant applications, and preparation of research proposals
  • Maintain adequate funding levels through the research phase
  • Provide comprehensive advising and assist in the identification of mentors
  • Provide assistance to students seeking external funding via Grad Fund-The Resource Center for Graduate Student External Support
  • Facilitate process of applying to the Graduate School for supplemental funding for graduate student travel and summer research

Learning Goal 3 for Students: Prepare to be professionals in careers that require training at the highest level in Philosophy 

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3: 

  • Review evidence of scholarly activity
  • Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of graduate instructors
  • Participation of students in professionalization activities offered by the department • Collection of placement data
  • Review by external advisory committees, both inside of and external to the academy

Roles of the Graduate Program in Philosophy in helping students to achieve Goal 2: 

  • Promote and provide experience and training in teaching Encourage student involvement in programs associated with the Teaching Assistant Project
    • Encourage enrollment in Introduction to College Teaching I and II
    • Evaluations of TAs by faculty supervisors
  • Foster the development of a scholarly community through regular programatic offerings
    • Host Climate Workshops and other events that promote professional development programs in such areas as diverse and inclusive ways to teach, library use, course management software, interview skills, presentation skills, development of cvs, use of research tools, and proposal writing
    • Develop or enhance programs related to job and networking skills, including activity in professional societies and preparation for necessary certifications.
    • Offer frequent community-building activities, including weekly tea with fellow graduate students and faculty, First Thursdays Pizza Meet and Greet, Graduate Talks, potlucks, department lecture series, and so on
  • Facilitate flexible options for students with interdisciplinary interests, and encourage students to consider certificates in interdisciplinary programs
  • Acquaint students with non-academic career opportunities

The leadership of the Philosophy graduate program will regularly review the structure and content of the PhD program and the feedback received from assessments and surveys. These reviews will be used to provide the best possible education to students in order to meet the needs for highly trained individuals in the fields of Philosophy. 

 

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